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EXCELLENT VIDEO-- Why Hunters Are Seeing Fewer Wild Turkeys + What To Do About It!


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More and more on a few Threads on- oldgobbler and a NJ Hunting site- I see responses  of ( 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days).

   10 years ago, I  probably  would not agree with that- but with many more Spring Turkey Hunters then 10 years ago along with much lower Wild Turkey numbers- I think that is just one of the Solutions  that many States should think about.

   Personally, I  don't  think any Members here would agree with that..

  I understand that ( Finally)-- New Jersey is going to implement  major changes during the Spring Turkey Season . Their Fall Turkey Season is only 1 week long and just like in NY- not many people  are going for them. Those NJ changes will probably  happen next year. 

    I also think that the DEC should change this-- ( Two Bearded Turkeys-- 1 Bird per Day) to ( Gobblers or Jakes- 1 Bird per Day).

  Same with the Youth Bag Limit which currently  States- Bag Limit- ( One Bearded Turkey). Same as above- it should state- Bag Limit- ( 1 Gobbler or Jake).

    More then ever- NY needs to protect Bearded Hens during the Spring Turkey Season. She most likely has a Nest going. Don't  shoot that Bearded Hen Turkey!

  And,I  think it is time to protect Wild Turkey Hens in the Fall Turkey Season. Season Bag Limit should be 1 Gobbler or Jake.

 I will upload this good video again September  or so as right now only about 18 or so members are on at any one time.

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13 minutes ago, dmandoes said:

How many bearded hens do u think r being shot?

Probably  more then their fellow Spring Hunters would think. I think most would of course report their take to the DEC- but probably  would not talk much at all about it to their fellow Hunters.

   I know someone here on the site showed their Bearded Hen on the 2021 Turkey Thread.

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8 minutes ago, mowin said:

Definitely not so in my area.  Birds are more then plentiful.  

You are Lucky. Orange County also has good Turkey Numbers-- however, where,I  hunt in New Jersey Turkeys are very- very Few in number. Nothing but Predators  + Predator  Scat.

   Most of the Southren States are in a Truly Dire Situation  as is New Jersey. Many New York Spring Turkey Hunters are not seeing or hearing very many Tom's compared to years back.

You did not mention  if your primary Hunting area is Public or Private.

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4 hours ago, blackbeltbill said:

You are Lucky. Orange County also has good Turkey Numbers-- however, where,I  hunt in New Jersey Turkeys are very- very Few in number. Nothing but Predators  + Predator  Scat.

   Most of the Southren States are in a Truly Dire Situation  as is New Jersey. Many New York Spring Turkey Hunters are not seeing or hearing very many Tom's compared to years back.

You did not mention  if your primary Hunting area is Public or Private.

Private 

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Maybe New Jersey’s numbers are so low because they open in April? I know a guy on here that’s always pushing for an April opener in NY and always uses the fact that NJ does it as a reason why. Why would we want to take that chance?


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Too many predators , I see raccoons everywhere and they are coming out early in late afternoon -nose to the ground like a hunting dog
Coyotes are stalking turkeys constantly and high vegetation everywhere make is easier then ever
This year almost every time I was out (and it was a lot) on the days that they gobbled a lot they started gobbling late at sun up or later never in 25 years did I see this ,then they Gobble for an hour or so then shut up for good -and this is with no hunters around and no calling or anything just observing
Wet and cold springs ,when those poults get wet and a little chili they are done so fast
Im for the season may15-June 15 that way less get killed ,keep 2 birds but that way less are gonna get killed maybe-let the Tom desperados sweat it out
Close the fall season -I did anyway for me a few years back -I m pretty sure that one area that I know pretty well of about 3k or so acres of prime habitat has about 20%(most likely like 10-15%))of the turkeys it had 15years ago
For me fall harvest is not that hard (not easy it does take time) but when you see one hen come to the Roost and most roost sites empty of any turkey sign it breaks my heart
Also not many turkeys seen or turkey sign when bow hunting for deer (and im out a lot of the afternoons)
Don t allow harvest of bearded hens


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  Some States are considering  allowing the Taking of 1 Gobbler during the first 10 Days of the Spring Turkey Season. 

  If you follow- old Gobbler in the " general forum"- you will see things are getting Bad as far as very low numbers in 4 States especially. Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, + Oklahoma. 

  There is talk in both Oklahoma + Kentucky  of lowering the Spring Turkey Take to 1 Gobbler. 

  Personally- that would not work as " many" would take a Gobbler - simply not report that Bird and take #2 and report that Tom. That is exactly what would happen. So in those 2 States- the Taking of 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days is more feasible.  Then you can go out for #2.

  Now New York Turkey numbers depending on where you live are different.  In some County's- way different. 

 From my reading, I  know that Countys like- Saratoga  have Strong Turkey numbers- while some Western NY Countys do not now compared to the past. My County of Orange has " Fair" to Good Turkey numbers- but nothing like it was in the late 1990s.

   If New York went to a - 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days, I  would not be disappointed  personally.  Grant Woods in this video above does talk about the- 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days of the Spring Turkey Season in States that have lower Turkey Levels.

  But,I  would say perhaps 2 or 3 members here out of 10 would be in favor of taking just 1 Gobbler during the first 10 Days. The other 7 would opt to keep it the way it is . 

   The weekend is coming and there might be a few replies here. Which is good as more Guests + members will also view the above important  video.

  Bowing off the Dojo Floor.

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  Some States are considering  allowing the Taking of 1 Gobbler during the first 10 Days of the Spring Turkey Season. 
  If you follow- old Gobbler in the " general forum"- you will see things are getting Bad as far as very low numbers in 4 States especially. Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, + Oklahoma. 
  There is talk in both Oklahoma + Kentucky  of lowering the Spring Turkey Take to 1 Gobbler. 
  Personally- that would not work as " many" would take a Gobbler - simply not report that Bird and take #2 and report that Tom. That is exactly what would happen. So in those 2 States- the Taking of 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days is more feasible.  Then you can go out for #2.
  Now New York Turkey numbers depending on where you live are different.  In some County's- way different. 
 From my reading, I  know that Countys like- Saratoga  have Strong Turkey numbers- while some Western NY Countys do not now compared to the past. My County of Orange has " Fair" to Good Turkey numbers- but nothing like it was in the late 1990s.
   If New York went to a - 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days, I  would not be disappointed  personally.  Grant Woods in this video above does talk about the- 1 Gobbler only during the first 10 Days of the Spring Turkey Season in States that have lower Turkey Levels.
  But,I  would say perhaps 2 or 3 members here out of 10 would be in favor of taking just 1 Gobbler during the first 10 Days. The other 7 would opt to keep it the way it is . 
   The weekend is coming and there might be a few replies here. Which is good as more Guests + members will also view the above important  video.
  Bowing off the Dojo Floor.

What is a “good” or “strong” population? Is it a population big enough for every hunter to have an easy chance at killing two toms? Is it a big enough population for every hunter to see 2 toms? What data is used for deciding the target population?

We had more turkey 20 years ago but I have no idea if we had too many back then. Hunting was easier back then but it’s a lot more fun now!


Edit to add* if there’s scientific data that backs that our populations are low I’m all for changes as long as there is a set end goal. If this push is to make turkey hunting easier for those that struggle or if changes are made without a set end goal then I’m totally and completely against it.

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Nothing has changed habitat wise in the Catskills, yet turkey numbers are way down.  I believe it's an issue of too many predators.  Trappers are rare these days and yotes are numerous.

I don't think huge numbers of turkeys negatively affect the environment like deer would.  Turkey do not browse on vegetation and therefore the habitat can support many of them.  The more there are, the less likely they will be wiped out in a short period of time when things start changing for them.

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18 minutes ago, Grouse said:

Nothing has changed habitat wise in the Catskills, yet turkey numbers are way down.  I believe it's an issue of too many predators.  Trappers are rare these days and yotes are numerous.

I don't think huge numbers of turkeys negatively affect the environment like deer would.  Turkey do not browse on vegetation and therefore the habitat can support many of them.  The more there are, the less likely they will be wiped out in a short period of time when things start changing for them.

Well Written. I agree.

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What percentage of turkey hunters kill 2 bearded turkeys a spring? My guess is pretty low.

What about not being able to shoot both you birds in the same county or wmu?

If a hunter can hunt and regularly kills 2 toms off the same piece of property every year I can see that affecting the local population, but making it so you have to kill them after certain dates doesn’t help the population in that scenario.

Me personally if the changes @blackbeltbill is proposing went into affect I wouldn’t plan any time off until after the 10th of may so I wasn’t wasting days off.


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Two decades ago I killed two bearded birds on my land every year and two hens every fall.  The flocks seen daily on the land had 20 to 25 birds in them.  They were all over the fields in the area every day.  Hunting pressure was light and had no effect on their numbers.

Today, I see none on the land most days.  This year I saw 1 Tom and 2 hens together on one day.  Nothing else.  In the fields I have not seen any flocks with more than 5 birds total.  And most fields have none.  There is almost no turkey hunting going on around here anymore.  The turkey hunters are traveling to areas where there are more birds or not hunting at all.

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Weren’t you in favor of making the season start earlier, into breeding time, just so you can have it easier to fill a tag. Now you are saying numbers are on the decline. Make up your mind man. 
 

There should be no taking of hens, bearded or not throughout both seasons. 

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1 hour ago, Grouse said:

Two decades ago I killed two bearded birds on my land every year and two hens every fall.  The flocks seen daily on the land had 20 to 25 birds in them.  They were all over the fields in the area every day.  Hunting pressure was light and had no effect on their numbers.

Today, I see none on the land most days.  This year I saw 1 Tom and 2 hens together on one day.  Nothing else.  In the fields I have not seen any flocks with more than 5 birds total.  And most fields have none.  There is almost no turkey hunting going on around here anymore.  The turkey hunters are traveling to areas where there are more birds or not hunting at all.

what changed?

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1 hour ago, Grouse said:

Two decades ago I killed two bearded birds on my land every year and two hens every fall.  The flocks seen daily on the land had 20 to 25 birds in them.  They were all over the fields in the area every day.  Hunting pressure was light and had no effect on their numbers.

Today, I see none on the land most days.  This year I saw 1 Tom and 2 hens together on one day.  Nothing else.  In the fields I have not seen any flocks with more than 5 birds total.  And most fields have none.  There is almost no turkey hunting going on around here anymore.  The turkey hunters are traveling to areas where there are more birds or not hunting at all.

Indeed- members on a New Jersey Hunting Site have said as much about disappearing  Flocks.

  In think right now- New York + New Jersey are very similar. Some areas have plenty of Turkeys and other huge areas have very Few. And other areas have a fair to good amount.

  We can thank our lucky stars none of us lives and Turkey Hunts in Oklahoma  + Kentucky.  As well as a number of Southeastern  States.

   Some here might want to get on old Gobbler as a guest and view in the General  Forum the Threads on Kentucky  + Oklahoma.  They will be near the Top.

  Wildlife Biologist- Grant Woods does bring alot of facts to light in the above video.

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